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Full text of "Address of General Julian S. Carr : "the Confederate soldier," reunion, Richmond, Va., June 2, 1915"

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'*Tke Confederate Soldier" 

Reunion, Richmond, Va. 
June 2, 1915 

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31ntnf rstlg of Nortlj (Earoltna 

QloUrrtton of North. CteoUmatta 


Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 


To speak to my beloved Comrades, who wore the 
Gray, wherever they may light the camp fires of Re- 
union, and live again the glory, the fierce joy, and 
alas the sorrow of lurid years of battle, is a privi- 
lege to be cherished. 

But hero indeed is he, to be doubly envied, who 
comes to the council fires at the heart of the Confed- 
eracy, whose privilege it is to grasp the welcoming 
hand and meet the kindly glance of dear old comrades 
whose life-blood baptized the sacred soil of Virginia 
from the Chickahominy to the James, from Malvern 
Hill to Gettysburg. 

Fellow Comrades, in assembling here in the City 
of Richmond for reunion, embargoes our hearts and 
minds with memory of the days when Richmond op- 
ened her hospitable gates, as the headquarters of the 
Confederacy, and sought to present a home to the 
great Mississippian who was its first and only presi- 

And the story of Virginia's fidelity through the 
long years of siege and privation is one of the most 
precious of the sibylline leaves of history. 

This country needs the record of the Confederate 
soldier to make full and complete the narrative of its 
greatness and renown. 

The humblest private who wore the Gray with 
honor will go down to his final rest with such rank in 

the pantheon of history that Knights Errant and 
chivalrous, and the decorated Wearers of Stars and 
Garters of the Legion of Honor, or the Golden Fleece, 
never knew. 

This is no declaration of the enthusiasm of the 
hour in the empty compliment to comrades and 
friends ; it's the veritable truth of history ; it's the 
declaration of Fame around the world. To look back 
for fifty years to the opening of the great struggle 
reveals one of the most sublime spectacles of moral 
grandeur that the world has ever witnessed. 

When Aeneas, who bore upon his shoulders his 
aged father Anchises from the flames that consumed 
Troy, was bidden by the Queen of Carthage to recite 
the tragic story of the fall of Troy, he gave expression 
to his unutterable grief in the question, "Who of the 
Myrmydons, or what follower even of the stern 
Ulysses, could refrain from tears at such recital ?" 
I have no words that I can trust to utterance expres- 
sive of my feelings, when I attempt the recital of the 
deeds of daring and of valor of the Confederate 

The difference in the character of the great body 
of troops in the armies that opposed each other along 
the Potomac and the James has often been mentioned 
and the price paid by the South when her bravest and 
best sons were laid a bloody sacrifice upon her coun- 
try's altars. 

It is only when one applies the test of facts that 
this startling difference most fully appears. Con- 
trast the record of the professors of Harvard and of 
Virginia's William and Mary, the two oldest insti- 
tutions of learning in America. The Massachusetts 
Institution, with its great numbers and means and its 

hundreds of professors, had one volunteer to serve 
upon the field from its patriotic faculty. The Vir- 
ginia college, William and Mary, sent thirty-two out 
of its thirty-five professors and instructors to join the 
army in the field. 

General Whittier, of their own people, has pointed 
out that although Massachusetts paid thirteen mil- 
lions of dollars from the State in bounties to obtain 
patriots for military service, besides many millions 
more from her leading cities and towns, yet a list of 
Massachusetts artillery and infantry regiments, con- 
taining 20,957 men, exhibits but 95 men of the whole 
number killed in battle. This moved the General to 
declare before his State Historical Society, with rare 
candor and justice : "This does not indicate brilliant 
or useful service, and yet the material was probably 
better than that of any other regiment of the State. 
The same class of men in the South was in the thick- 
est of the fight, and their intelligence and pariotism 
did a great work." 

Comrades, the more the history of the War between 
the States is studied with the simple truthful facts as 
history will sift them, the more and yet the more, 
without hard feelings toward others, you and I may 
thank God that we wore the Gray. 

It rejoices the heart to linger in those days of chiv- 
alric daring when every man in the ranks was there 
upon the mission of victory, and rank and pelf were 
naught in the eye of duty. 

Think what manner of men commanded such 
troops. How grandly looms forth the character of 
gentleman and Christian from the great commander- 
in-chief, upon whose head Bishop Meade had bowed 
in blessing upon his dying bed — and the stern Com- 


mander who wrestled in prayer through the night, 
before he led his column into battle, to the third in 
the great trio of our countrymen, whose memory is 
revered by every true Southerner, Jefferson Davis. 

In the language of our distinguished Commander : 
"We need not go to the lands of Plato and Pericles, of 
Cicero and Csesar, for examplars and heroes, expo- 
nents and martyrs. We have them at home. They 
fell upon every field — from Bull Run to Appomat- 
tox. And the world has yet to witness in soldiers of 
the line, truer devotion to their flags, a higher sense 
of martial individuality and intelligent efficiency 
than that displayed by the volunteer private soldiers 
in the Confederate armies from 1861 to 1865. The 
blood of these martyrs shall be the deeds of new life 
and new liberty for all the ages. And the fadeless 
memories of these true men, without marble and 
without brass, should be eternal." 

If every patriotic Northern man, every brave Un- 
ion soldier, every honest citizen of the United States 
would recognize the fact that the Southern people 
were neither rebels nor traitors, the ends of fairness 
would be subserved, sectionalism would be dead, we 
would be more closely united in the bonds of fra- 
ternal citizenship and every star in our flag would 
shine the brighter. 

The North achieved the victory and the South 
reaped the glory in the most tremendous military 
struggle of our hemisphere, one of the most desperate, 
sanguinary and heroic wars of all history. I would 
speak of the Southerner before the war, during the 
war, and after the war, and in all these relations he 
discovered as much civic virtue, displayed as daunt- 
less valor, and exhibited, under adverse fortune, as 


admirable fortitude as history credits to any people it 
gives account of. 

jSTot so long ago there were many at the North to 
deem us traitors, and "Southern treason" was the 
campaign cry of those who marched under the folds 
of the "bloody shirt." We are yet stigmatized as 
rebels by some of our loyal compatriots. To the lat- 
ter epithet the South has no very particular objec- 
tions. During the Christian era the three grandest 
names in political history are Alfred the Great, Wil- 
liam the Silent, and George Washington. Technical- 
ly the first of this important trio was a rebel. Actu- 
ally and legally the last two were rebels, and the last 
named and greatest and grandest of the lot was a 
Southerner and a slave-holder. The Confederate 
soldier is perfectly willing to accept association with 
these demigods and cordially adopt the classification, 
and we do it with the more pride and alacrity when 
we reinforce them, and incalculably augment their 
glory, by adding to their numbers the Miltiades of 
the 19th century — the world's greatest hero — Robert 
E. Lee, whom the South, to remotest generations, 
will ever esteem the noblest personality mentioned in 
all profane history. 

The men of the South, though of a soldier race, 
loved peace as devotedly as any people of any clime of 
any age, and it is a slander and a falsehood to say that 
they wantonly plunged their country into a bloody 
war. They were the weaker section, — comparatively 
few in numbers, lamentably weak in resources, and 
deplorably slender in wealth. They were a high- 
minded, proud race with lofty contempt for all mean- 
ness, true to plighted faith, and endowed with an ex- 

quisite sense of personal honor universal in its observ- 
ance and fanatic in its sincerity. 

"Nor duke nor prince am I, 
I am the Sieur de Coucy," 

might have been the device of proud humility award- 
ed by heraldry to tens of thousands of Southern 

Have you gentlemen ever considered, with the eye 
of philosophy, the character of that civilization, 
which has passed away forever ? Have you reflected 
that no man went hungry, whatever might have been 
his color ; that while the highways were wretched, the 
jails were practically empty; that charity was a per- 
sonal matter, not a state concern; that brotherhood 
applied to its most acid test, to-wit : the endorsement 
of your neighbor's paper was almost universal; that 
while justice was administered in the temple, honor 
regulated affairs in the field, and that leadership was 
acquired and kept by the practice of the virtues of 
courage, consistent conduct, intelligent appreciation 
of the duty to be done. 

I mean to call no honor roll in proof of this state- 
ment. The names of the worthies rise fresh in your 
most casual count. These are the laurels with which 
the great dead of our Southland are worthy to be 
crowned withal. 

The South was not responsible for African slavery 
in this hemisphere and slavery at the South was the 
gentlest and the most beneficent servitude mankind 
has ever known. There was a fellowship and an af- 
fection existing between master and slave at the South 
beautiful and delightful to contemplate and that no- 
body but Southern folk who saw it and acted it can 
understand or appreciate. When that demoniac mon- 


ster, John Brown, brought fire and sword across the 
line to carry to every Southern household, the slave 
was more terror-stricken than his master was enraged. 
And to show how little the North knew of the simple 
and beautiful trust and affection that existed between 
the master and his slave we have but to revert to a 
speech of William II. Seward, made in 1860, who 
opined that the South would never go to war for her 
rights, for the Southern people knew that the slaves 
would rise, massacre the Southern whites and give 
their roofs to the flames. The South did go to war. 
Southern men with the most implicit trust left their 
wives and children to the protection of their slaves 
and during those four long, doleful, disastrous and 
terrible years, filled with so much excruciating suf- 
fering and crowned with such effulgent glory, not a 
single outrage was perpetrated by a slave in a single 
community at the South. 

The South rebelled — I am willing to call it that — 
because the isorth insisted that the stronger section 
was not bound by the Constitution. The South knew 
that slavery could not exist in Kansas, or JSTebraska, 
or California, or Oregon. The climate forbade. 
What the South contended for, and all she demanded, 
was the right guaranteed to her in the fundamental 
law of the land to maintain which both sections had 
solemnly plighted faith. The rights of the South as 
ascertained by the adjudications of the Supreme 
Court were set at naught by the dominant party of 
the jSTorth which held that the Constitution was "a 
mere scrap of paper," that it was "a league with 
death and a covenant with hell," that there was "a 
higher law," unwritten and interpreted by the con- 
science of the stronger party to the compact of 1789. 


That made the war and that war surely would have 
come had there not been a single slave in the Western 

The late John James Ingalls was a Yankee of the 
Yankees, transplanted to the congenial soil of "bleed- 
ing Kansas." He was a very candid man and scorned 
a subterfuge. Here is what he said in an elaborate 
address on the negro question about a year before he 
retired from the United States Senate : 

"The conscience of New England was never thor- 
oughly aroused to the immorality of African slavery 
until it ceased to be profitable." 

Precisely. And African slavery would be in the 
green tree and exuberantly flourishing In our blessed 
and beloved land of liberty this very moment had it 
been as profitable in Massachusetts and Iowa as it 
was supposed to be in South Carolina and Arkansas. 

Let me call your attention to an historical item, 
which, while not unnoticed, has, in my judgment 
never received its dues at the hands of historians. 
That of the twelve million men who followed the for- 
tunes of the South, eight million only were of our 
race, and of these it is a liberal estimate to say that 
not exceeding four hundred thousand had any vital 
interest in slavery. Perhaps it is not an extravagant 
statement to make that there exists no record where 
such power as they weilded was ever possessed by the 
same number of freemen in any stage of this world's 
history. How wisely, how patriotically, how astute- 
ly they used their power; how they united their 
friends and divided their opponents; how they ac- 
quired Louisiana and Florida ; how they made war 
for the second time on England; how they aided 
Texas in her struggle for freedom, and ended by ab- 

sorbing, on equal terms with themselves, her terri- 
tory; how they acquired the gold of California, the 
timber of Oregon; how they swayed the growing in- 
terests of this great Republic from infancy to the 
virile manhood of I860, when reluctantly they left 
to found another government. 

There are many admirable traits in the New Eng- 
land character, there is much to commend even in the 
Puritan of that ilk; but the Puritan had a most un- 
ruly and refractory conscience that suffered the ag- 
onies of the damned for the shortcomings and trans- 
gressions of others. It was the terrible New England 
conscience that put an end to the movement for eman- 
cipation of the slaves at the South that promised so 
great success the first four decades of the last century. 

When the New England Anti-Slavery Society was 
formed there were a great number of anti-slavery so- 
cieties at the South, and had the Puritan conscience 
behaved itself with any sort of moderation and de- 
cency all the border 'States of the South would have 
voluntarily emancipated their slaves. Even such a 
fire-eater as Henry A. Wise of Virginia, was only 
restrained from emancipating his slaves by the fact 
that when he contemplated it he looked around and 
made the discovery that the free negroes of Virginia 
were in much worse condition, morally and material- 
ly, than their fellows in bondage. The Chief Jus- 
tice who delivered the Dred Scott decision emanci- 
pated every slave he owned except those too old or 
too feeble to earn a support. 

When New England went into the anti-slavery 
business, the South, where there was a vast store of 
human nature, resented it, and the emancipation con- 
tingent at the South shrank to insignificant numbers. 

Though Henry Clay, the Breckinridges, and the Un- 
derwoods were anti-slavery men, the emancipationists 
of Kentucky made a miserable showing when the new 
Constitution of that State was adopted in 1850. 
Instead of an "open clause," that would have pro- 
moted emancipation and ultimately secured the ex- 
tinction of slavery in the commonwealth, there was 
no provision for amendment whatever, and emanci- 
pation became practically a political impossibility. 
The jSTew England Anti-Slavery Society was respon- 
sible for that action in a 'State where the emancipa- 
tion sentiment had been very strong. In Virginia 
and North Carolina the emancipation movement 
dwindled till it became a negligible quantity in the 
political and social equation. Zeb Vance, known and 
loved where Southern blood courses in Southern veins 
and the idol of the Tar Heels, was an anti-slavery 
man at heart, but the meddling New Englanders 
stifled his principles. 

The people of the South were of a proud race, and 
while there was an aristocracy there, it was a gentry 
of honor rather than of birth, and here in our be- 
loved South of that tremendous epoch the distance, 
political and social, between the rich man and the 
poor man was shorter than anywhere else on this earth 
in any period of the world's history. Here in the old 
South the slightest stain on a public man's reputation 
meant political annihilation and social ostracism. 
It was the grandest squirehood and the finest yeo- 
manry any country ever boasted. 

In 1860 the North, the dominant section, gave 
power for the first time in our history, to a party al- 
together sectional and made no concealment of the 
new policy that the Constitution was a mere scrap 


of paper and the higher law the supreme law of the 

It was a challenge to the South and the South was 
prompt to lift the gage. The first quarter of the last 
century the right of secession from the Federal Union 
by a sovereign State, one of the parties to the compact 
that made the American sisterhood, was little ques- 
tioned. It was threatened by Massachusetts when it 
was proposed to admit Louisiana as a State of the 
Union and nobody challenged Mr. Quincy when in 
the Federal Senate he declared that in the event the 
new State became one of the sisterhood it would be 
the 'duty of some as it was the right of all the States to 
recall the powers they had delegated in the Constitu- 
tion and withdraw from the Union, and there is not 
the slightest doubt that the victory of General Jack- 
son at New Orleans and the treaty of peace negotiated 
at Ghent bringing to a close the War of 1812 pre- 
vented the secession of some of the New England 
States in 1815. Had it come then the separation 
would have been peaceable. 

But by 1860 the Union, child of the statecraft of 
the South mainly, had waxed in power and wealth 
and influence until our Republic was recognized as 
one of the leading nations of the world. During that 
seventy years the South was dominant in the councils 
of state at the national capital and with a lofty dis- 
interestedness had allowed the more populous and 
more wealthy North to profit most in a material sense 
from the advantages and blessings of the government. 
She sold her wares abroad in a free trade market and 
purchased the supplies necessary to her household 
economy in the domestic protected market. All she 
asked in return was the acknowledgment and ob- 


servance of lier equal rights as defined in the Consti- 
tution, the character of the Union. 

Then the South seceded and as the event disclosed 
war was inevitable. The antagonists were most un- 
evenly matched. In numbers, in wealth, in resources, 
in financial credit, the ISTorth was overwhelmingly the 
superior. In addition the more powerful section had 
an established government and flag everywhere recog- 
nized and respected by alien peoples. But the South 
scorned to count the cost. She dared "to put it to the 
touch," and staked her all upon the issues of battle. 
The manhood of the South sprang to arms : 

"The fisher left his skiff to rock 
On Tamar's glittering waves ; 
The rugged miners poured to war 
From Mendip's sunless caves." 

It was a magnificent civilian soldiery that delivered 
battle for the South. It was not an army of slave- 
holders, either, for in its ranks were tens of thou- 
sands, many of them of the field and staff as well as 
of the rank and file, who gladly would have brought 
about emancipation of the slave could they have seen 
a provident and a beneficent way to accomplish it. 

It was an army terribly in earnest — freemen fight- 
ing for freedom led by captains with a genius for 
war that is the wonder and admiration of soldiers of 
every clime. For four years the unequal stgruggle 
continued. The best and bravest fell in action. Our 
territory was overrun by the enemy and much of it 
devastated. It was a combat of six Southern men 
against twenty-eight adversaries, for the North had 
enrolled 2,800,000 and the South but 600,000. The 
disparity in wealth and resources was even greater, 


for the jSTorth had the world to draw upon and the 
South was dependent on her own slender resources. 

Eo soldiery of any age or clime ever displayed 
more genius for arms than did the legions of the 
South in our great struggle of 1861-65 and there is 
more buried valor in the heroic bosom of old Virginia 
than in all the rest of our heisphere besides. When 
Stonewall Jackson struck the enemy, overwhelmingly 
superior in numbers, at Chancellorsville, he and his 
invincible infantry 

"Came as the winds come when forests are rended, 
Came as the waves come when navies are stranded." 

And the "rebel yell" ! It was the fiercest and the 
most terrible war cry ever practiced by the sons of 
Mars. Of another summons to battle a great poet 
sang : 

"By this, though deep the evening fell, 
Still rose the battle's deadly swell, 
For still the Scotts, around their King, 
Unbroken, fought in desperate ring. 
Where's now their victor va-ward wing, 

Where Huntly and where Home ? 
O for a blast of that dread horn, 
On Fontarabian echoes borne, 

That to King Charles did come, 
When Rowland brave, and Olivier, 
And every paladin and peer, 

On Ronceavalles died!" 

And the rebel yell was more inspiriting to its own 
ranks and more appalling to the foe than all the 
trumpets that had urged to slaughter in all the other 
wars of profane history. Ere the inevitable had 
come our depleted ranks were somewhat replenished 
when he recruited from the cradle and the grave, 
grandsires of three score and youths in their early 


teens, and again one may revert to heroic lines com- 
memorative of another "Lost Cause" : 

"Low as that tide has ebbed with me, 
It still reflects to memory's eye 
The hour, my brave, my only boy 
Fell by the side of great Dundee. 
Why, when the volleying musket played 
Against the bloody Highland blade, 
Why was I not beside him laid? 
Enough — he died the death of fame; 
Enough — he died with conquering Graeme !" 

Notwithstanding their overwhelming superiority 
in numbers, in resources, in equipment, in supplies 
of every description, the South was not beaten on the 
field, for it was the blockade of Southern ports that 
forced the surrender. Just as the navy of Great Brit- 
ain overthrew Napoleon, so it was the navy of the 
Federal Government that overcame the South. Had 
we been able to freely exchange our cotton for money 
and supplies from abroad our finances would not have 
gone to such deplorable and hopeless wreck and our 
armies could have withstood all the masses of the 
enemy another four years. 

The South was beaten by a series of IFS. Had we 
not fired the first gun at Sumter the North could 
never have recruited a million of men to invade us. 
Had Johnston not fallen at Shiloh in April at the 
head of his victorious legions he would have occupied 
Chicago ere the summer solstice. Had Stonewall 
Jackson escaped the bullet that slew him he would 
have destroyed or captured the army of the Potomac. 
Had the charge at Gettysburg been made six hours 
earlier, as was ordered, that decisive field would have 
been a Southern victory, Washington, Baltimore, and 


Philadelphia would have fallen, and Europe would 
have interposed to put an end to the slaughter. 

But it was not to be. The God of Battles ordered 
otherwise and His decree was that the ISTorth should 
have the victory and the South should reap the glory 
of that mighty conflict. So be it. We are content. 
I have yet to see or to hear of any Southern man who 
wore the Gray and did his brave devoir on stricken 
field who is not proud of the deeds of the sons of the 
South from the firing on Sumter to Appomattox. 

As the years pass by more and more is known of 
the sublime position of the South in her effort for 

She met the inevitable in the spirit of General 
Maury's farewell order to the men of the Southwest : 
"Conscious that we have played our part like men; 
confident of the righteousness of our cause, without 
regret for our past, without despair of the future." 

We can afford, my dear comrades to wait. Our 
cause for the defense of which so many brave South- 
ern boys gave up their lives will find justification in 
the tides of Time. True, it may be, and true it is, 
that now, the uncultured, the under bred, and the ma- 
licious find it in their hearts to speak of the followers 
of Lee and Jackson as rebels and traitors. I wish 
such as these had been with me on a recent Sabbath. 
It was a perfect Holy Day. I drove to Chestnut Oak 
Ridge Meeting House in Orange County to worship 
God with my neighbors, out under the boughs of 
those grand old spreading oaks, where the pure air 
is uncontaminated with the foul odors of the city 
slums; where the skies look bluer and the thunder 
heads flit across the horizon like playful young lambs, 
and where the water gushing from the foot of the 


meeting house hill, is clear and cool and sparkling — 
fit for the gods. 

It was recess, and I strolled through the grave- 
yard in the rear of the Meeting House, when my at- 
tention was arrested by what was to me, a very touch- 
ing inscription upon an unpretentious headstone. In 
June 1861, at a country boarding school, I had said 
"good-bye" to Albert Holmes, as he marched away to 
join the Confederate army. He was a handsome, 
manly young fellow, and was extremely popular. His 
fine physique would command attention in any crowd. 
He was quitting school in obedience to his country's 
call. I had oftentimes made inquiry about the hand- 
some Albert Holmes of my school boy days. The only 
information I ever obtained was "he was killed in 
the army." I found him that Sunday morning; lov- 
ing hands had brought his bullet ridden body back 
to the burying ground of the old country church, 
where from cradled infancy, he had been taught to 
worship God, and tenderly laid him there to sleep the 
dreamless sleep of death, in the quiet solitude of that 
majestic old forest, where the red breast robin in the 
spring-time will bring its mate to nest in the over- 
hanging boughs, and where the thrush will sit a sil- 
ent sentinel at the sunset hour, warbling its sweet 
notes as a requiem to the dead soldier. I stopped to 
read the epitaph of my dead soldier friend and school- 
mate. It was short but meant so much. It was this : 
"In obedience to the laws of my country, I fill a 
soldier's grave." Tell me that Albert Holmes, upon 
whose head-stone is carved such sentiments, was a 
rebel and a traitor % It is a lie, and may my tongue 
cleave to the roof of my mouth when I cease to de- 
clare it. 


A monument recently placed in a cemetery at 
Louisville, Ky., bears inscriptions to the memory of 
John Austin, a soldier of the Revolution, James Allen 
Austin, his son, a soldier of the war of 1812, James 
Grigsby Austin, his grand-son, a soldier of the War 
with Mexico, and James Richard Gathright, his 
great-grandson, a Confederate soldier who was killed 
at Murfreesboro, Tenn., Jan. 1st, 1863. All were 

Can it be that a soldier with such an ancestry, 
rich in the annals of his country's history, was a rebel 
and a traitor ? 

Away with the miserable miscreant who would dis- 
honor such memories ! 

Just one more illustration. The community in 
which I was reared was fortunate enough to num- 
ber among its cultured citizenship the pure and able 
Carolinian that lent dignity to the Supreme Court 
bench of the State, that Christian jurist, Judge Wil- 
liam H. Battle. 

He gave to the Confederate army two sons as pure 
as woman and as brave as Marshall Ney. I knew 
them in my youth, and my young life was made 
purer and better for having known them. 

One fell at Sharpsburg and one at Gettysburg. I 
well remember the day when their lifeless bodies were 
brought back to Chapel Hill, to be laid to rest in the 
quiet cemetery of their native town, both in one grave. 
I can never forget the sorrow that filled every heart, 
and the deep grief that was depicted on every counte- 
nance and the sympathetic courtesy that barred each 
place of business in the town, as the silent cortege 
wended its way to the cemetery. Hearts too full to 
give utterance to their feelings tenderly laid Junius 


and Lewis Battle to rest that day. Tell me we were 
burying rebels and traitors ? Until the stars burn out 
in their sockets, it is our duty to declare that it was an 
interment of Christian patriots. 

Those who utter this base culmination are densely 
ignorant or infamously false. We despise the coward- 
ly aspersion. We protest against it in the name of 
Mecklenburg and Alamance, King's Mountain, Cow- 
pens, Guilford Court House and Yorktown. We 
spurn it, in the name of eighty years of American 
history, during which time the counsels of this Re- 
public were directed and controlled by Southern 
statesmen. Who wrote the Declaration of Independ- 
ence ? Whose sword beat back the hosts of Britain ? 
What jurist most adorned the Supreme Bench of this 
ISTation ? Whose tongue fired the American heart 
with love of freedom and cried "Give me liberty or 
give me death !" Whose valor at Xew Orleans cut to 
pieces the flower of the English army and rolled back 
the tide of invasion ? 

Vile culminator he who dares affirm that one drop 
of rebel blood ever flowed in the veins of the de- 
scendants of Jefferson, and Jackson, and Patrick 
Henry, and Marshall and Madison, and George 
Washington and their compatriots. 

Rebels ! the battle flags of the Confederacy flut- 
tered over half a continent and the thunder of its 
guns echoed around the globe. When before in the 
history of the world were there such rebels ? It was 
not a rebellion but a gigantic war. 

The companionship existing between comrades in 
arms is the closest and dearest fellowship that comes 
to men. They have faced dangers and endured hard- 
ships together for the sake of a principle for which 


willingly they would yield their lives. This senti- 
ment of brotherhood is always stronger among the 
vanquished than it is with the victors, else human 
nature would be even more frail than it is. The 
hardships of the bivouac, the fatigues of the march, 
the dangers of the battle line bring about a fellow- 
ship unknown to peaceful walk, and this sentiment 
has made heroes of thousands who were constitu- 
tionally timid. The soldier of the South endured 
greater hardships than did his adversary of the 
North. Our equipment was inadequate, our food in- 
sufficient, yet the South fought to exhaustion. On 
the other hand the enemy was the amplest equipped, 
the best fed, the best clothed, the most formidably 
armed soldiery who had heretofore gone to war. 
These things should be considered when we contem- 
plate the mortal struggle between the six and the 

Any estimate of the man in gray is incomplete 
without a scrutiny of his conduct after the war. I 
harbor no resentment against our adversaries of 1861- 
65. It is notorious that the South freely and cordial- 
ly forgave the North long before the North forgave 
the South. Our protestations of loyalty, though 
made by a soldier race ever true to plighted faith, fell 
on deaf ears and were discredited at the North. The 
debate in the national House of Representatives be- 
tween Benjamin H. Hill and James Gr. Blaine in 
1876 shows that. It was not until a score of years 
later when at the outbreak of the Spanish-American 
War the South sprang to arms in defense of the 
flag against a foreign foe. that the North fully ac- 
cepted our professions of loyalty. When the Win- 
slow drifted, disabled, and helpless out of the harbor 


at Cardenas with her deck crimsom with the blood 
of handsome young Worth Bagley of North Carolina, 
the son of a Confederate Soldier, the first to die in 
defense of the Stars and Stripes. Then and not 
until then the bloody shirt, emblem of hate and mal- 
ice, was furled. 

"It is a remarkable fact that there are more monu- 
ments erected commemorating the principles and 
heroes of the Confederate States, which lived only 
four years, than have been erected or constructed to 
any single cause, political, military or religious in the 
world's history. More books must be written, the 
story of the struggle must be correct, the judgment of 
mankind must be just. We, the sentinels, standing 
now on the shores, can hear the voices of those who 
have passed over to be with the immortals still call- 
ing. They bid us be true to the great principles for 
which these heroes and martyrs died. The hundreds 
of monuments scattered throughout the South with 
voiceful stone speak of the matchless courage and the 
undaunted gallantry of the Confederate soldiers, and 
of the immeasurable patriotism of the Southern peo- 
ple. These will live when books are changed; when, 
it may be, the past may be forgotten, but these im- 
perishable monuments with their inscriptions will 
remain for a thousand years ; and when they shall 
have crumbled into dust before the ravages of time, 
others will spring up, and they will be renewed, so 
that the story which they tell will go down through 
the ages with undiminished light and with unfading 
glorv, a love song to the Valor of the Confederate 

With pleasurable pride I refer to the high per- 


sonnel of the Confederate soldier, his polish and fin- 
ish as a gentlemen, proven by conduct as such. 

It is true that speaking pro rata, the scholarship 
of this country prior to the War, was largely south 
of Mason and Dixon's line. More Southern gentle- 
men educated their sons at Princeton, Harvard, and 
other institutions in the North — especially Prince- 
ton, and more young men went abroad to complete 
their education than from the North. The truth is, 
the large majority of Confederate soldiers were edu- 
cated gentlemen. The result was when the Con- 
federates made excursions into the enemy's country 
there were few if any charges of raids upon private 
homes, acts of rapine, the pillaging of houses of 
worship, the purloining of sacrificial and baptismal 
furnishings, the appropriating of family heirlooms, 
the looting of homes, the tying up by the thumbs of 
aged persons to make them declare the hiding places 
of hidden treasures. 

What a contrast between the march of Sherman 
through Georgia and the Carolinas to the invasion of 
Pennsylvania by Lee. 

The explanation is that Lee's army was consti- 
tuted largely of Southern gentlemen. 

The mills of the Gods grind slowly, but they grind 
exceedingly fine. The Confederate soldier is coming 
into his own. 

Fifty years from the unfortunate, unhappy and 
unrighteous assassination of Mr. Lincoln finds a 
Confederate soldier filling the high and honorable 
office of Chief Justice of the United States. 

I challenge history to produce the record of any 
army that went down to defeat, that furnished so 
many gentlemen qualified to grace the United States 


Senate, and who did fill positions in that august body 
with honor and distinction. Also governors of the 
various States, members of Congress and ministers 
to foreign courts. 

So large was the number of gentlemen who belong- 
ed to the Confederate army who afterward came 
into high and honorable office, the appelation, the 
"Confederate Brigadier" was a sweet morsel under 
the tongue of some of the envious Yankees. My com- 
rades, history will yet place the Confederate soldier 
upon a pedestal and his name and fame will go sound- 
ing down the ages. 

But I would speak of the Southern soldier in the 
days of Reconstruction when fanaticism had dis- 
franchised him and pillage had impoverished him; 
and I do so without bitterness and without rancor. 
He was never so admirable, never so superb, as in 
that trying epoch. A multitude of remorseless and 
insatiate vultures descended from the North upon 
the prostrate South in 1865. Where the carcass is 
there the carrion crow will flock. They were aptly 
stigmatized as carpetbaggers, and the term has be- 
come synonymous with all that is vile and infamous 
and odious in human equation. They seized upon 
the governments of the Southern States when the bay- 
onet was at the throat of every 'Southern man. They 
set the slave to political rule above his former master 
and they robbed a beaten people with impunity, with- 
out shame and without remorse. Taxation became 
confiscation and the fairest land under the sun peo- 
pled by the noblest race the world has yet produced 
was separated into satrapies that protected the harp- 
ies in their hellish work of desolation and atrocity. 


'It was then that the Southerner, the man who 
wore the gray, proved the metal of which he was 
made and he was even greater in the civic conflict 
than he had been on the field of Mars. Stigmatized 
as a traitor, disfranchised, robbed of his property, 
his home ruined, his fields devastated — this man rose 
like an Olympian demigod, smote the vandals, and 
they were not. He seized the reins of government, 
brought order out of chaos, established free govern- 
ment and enthroned justice, and today his descen- 
dants are as prosperous in life and compose as fine a 
citizenship as does the posterity of his Northern ad- - 
versary on whom the government has bestowed bil- 
lions in pensions. I defy the historian to point to 
another such amazing civic exploit, crowned with 
such brilliant civic victory, in the entire story of 
mankind. No wonder the Southerner walks the 
earth, today, the proudest man on God's footstool! 

The cause was lost, 'tis said. Yes, but is it not re- 
gained and more vital than it was the day South 
Carolina proclaimed the Ordinance of Secession ? 
True the powers of the national establishment have 
been greatly augmented at the exj>ense of the States 
— all the States; but what was the "Cause" of the 
South ? This, simply this, only this — the equality of 
the States under the Constitution. For that she re- 
volted, for that she fought, for that she suffered, for 
that, for a time, she was beaten. 

But today the equality of the States under the 
'Constitution maintains. It is by no one threatened; 
it is by everyone cherished and defended. 

It is not a lost cause, for it was the cause of human 
liberty and constitutional government, based on the 
equality of the States. 


The war between the states was fought, really, 
by the women who stayed at home. Had they 
uttered a cry, had they complained, the morale of 
Lee's army would have dissipated in a day. 

Who can sound to the depth the agony that must 
have torn the breasts of those brave women, waiting 
at home for widowhood ? 

What words can picture the blackness of their 
nights, the shadow of their dreams, the visions that 
sprang by day from the detail of their household 
task? And yet they bore it all silently, except for 
the prayers they uttered and the sob that nature 
calls from woman's heart, the tears that brighten 
woman's eyes. 

How many mothers were there in those days of 
stress and storm like her of that touching interlude 
of Tennyson's : 

"Home they brought her warrior dead, 
She neither swooned nor uttered cry; 
All her maidens watching, said 
She must weep or she must die. 

Then they praised him soft and low, 
Called him worthy to be loved, 
Truest friend and noblest foe, 
Yet she neither spoke nor moved. 

Stole a maiden from her place, 
Lightly to the warrior stepped, 
Took the face-cloth from the face, 
Yet she neither moved nor wept. 

Rose a nurse of ninety years, 

Set his child upon her knee, 

Like summer tempest came her tears, 

'Sweet my child, I live for thee.' " 

And how she did live for him, that patient widowed 
mother of the 'South ; what a man she made of him ; 


how she has kept true in his breast the best tradi- 
tions of his race; how she has fed him clothed him, 
brought him up through poverty to wealth, from 
weakness to strength, to the high honor of hard work, 
through the indomitable example that she set! She 
has made of the sturdy manhood of the South the 
highest product which a Christian race has yet at- 

In conclusion I plagerize from the beautiful re- 
marks of our distinguished Commander, because he 
most graciously pays beautiful tribute to the Con- 
federate soldiers. 

"It was impossible, humanly speaking, to avoid the 
war between the states. There are those who say it is 
better that the South had never fought than to have 
fought and failed. That she lost is no evidence that 
she was wrong. History contains thousands of ex- 
amples of where the right has gone down before force. 
We cannot understand the ways of the Ruler of the 
Universe, but none can deny that in the adminis- 
tration of human affairs right and justice do not at 
all times prevail. The South should ever treasure the 
memory of her sons as worth more than all the wealth 
of this great country; which runs into such figures 
that all human imagination stands appalled before 
their immensity. 

"England, with her thousand years of national life 
and ceaseless struggle and conflict; with her resting 
place in Westminster for her renowned dead, which 
is the highest reward that a nation can bestow, has 
no such riches as those which were laid up in human 
history by the Confederate States in the four brief 
years of their existence. There is nothing in West- 
minster equal to Robert E. Lee. Great soldiers sleep 


there; great soldiers rest in St. Paul's; but take man 
and soldier combined, and the Confederate States 
hold up Robert E. Lee as their contribution to hu- 
man greatness, and the world is bound to say that his 
equal does not rest in that great structure beside the 
banks of the Thames. 

"As one stands in the Hotel des Invalides, where 
there has been displayed all that art and genius can 
devise to create a soft and sentimental halo around 
the tomb of JSTapoleon, and where thousands go year 
by year under the influence and spell created about 
the grave of him, who dying, said,, "Bury me on the 
banks of the Seine, amidst the people I love so well," 
— there is nothing there that is as great as the tomb 
of Stonewall Jackson in the little city of Lexington. 
Virginia, which rests on the side of the Blue Ridge ; 
and neither the tombs in the churches, nor the treas- 
ures of Montmartre, the resting place of France's 
greatest dead, can produce a genius so brilliant as 
Forest, or cavalry leaders so renowned as Morgan and 
Stuart, You may read all the annals of the world 
which tell of the exploits of seamen on all the waters 
that cover the earth, but nowhere can you find any- 
thing that will excel the enterprise, the courage and 
the genius of our 'Southern sailors — 'Semmes, Maffitt, 
Waddill, and their illustrious associates in the navy 
of the Confederacy. You may search all the niches 
in the sacred precincts of Westminster, and you can 
continue this search all over the capitols and ceme- 
teries in the world, but you cannot find the story of 
a nobler character than that of Jefferson Davis, or 
one who, amidst the vicissitudes of a great war and 
helpless to stay the irresistible tide of fate, saw his 
nation die with a sublimer dignity, with nobler gran- 


deur or truer courage. The Confederate soldier, 
thank Heaven, needs no Westminster Ab'bey, nor 
splendid Mausoleum in St. Paul's. 

"Thank God, no man can change the past. Its re- 
cords are written and sealed, and there can be no in- 
terlineations or amendments. We must open and 
read the pages as they are recorded by Fate. Be- 
yond this we ask not to go. The love of truth is one 
of the noblest impulses which can touch the human 
heart, and by all the glories of the past we demand 
that the truth shall be known and declared. Any 
Southern soldier, or Southern man or woman who 
asks less is a craven, and who takes less is a coward. 

"Comrades, we have undergone many vicissitudes, 
and it has pleased God to bless us with many tokens 
of prosperity and greatness to come. Let the new 
generation remember that men are grander than pos- 
sessions in any State. And when we train the young 
man for the future responsibility, where will we find 
among all the sons of earth grander examples of hu- 
man greatness than in the men who sleep now in their 
tattered coats of gray. 

"God be thanked that whatever the poverty of the 
'South, when the nations of the earth left her to the 
rapacity of the myriads, that she retained, and has 
ever possessed, a quality of manhood, of lofty in- 
tegrity, and Christian fortitude and serenity, unex- 
celled in human history." 

Nothing can more aptly show that the spirit of 
duty animated the private in the ranks equally with 
the great leaders than the account of his farewell at 
Appomattox by Gen. Bryan Grimes., of North Caro- 
lina, in which he declares: 

"When riding up to my regiment (who had fol- 

lowed me through four years of suffering, toil and 
privation often worse than death) to bid them fare- 
well, a cadaverous, ragged and barefooted man grasp- 
ed me by the hand, and choking with sobs, said: 
'Good-bye, General, God bless you ; we will go home, 
make three more crops and try them again.' ' 

'Such sublime faith, such adherence to principle, 
in the face of destruction, cannot perish without 
fruit, while a righteous God sits upon His throne, 
judging the hearts of men. 

~No land upon earth, no page of human history ever 
presented a parallel to the Confederate soldier. Let 
us cherish then, Fellow Comrades, our common heri- 
tage. Let us link with triple bonds of friendship, 
those who survive in loyal brotherhood and touch el- 
bows in the serene and fearless inarch to the end, 
whither so many noble souls have gone before and 
are now resting under the shade of the trees. 

Adown the years that come to me 
In their ceaseless flow to a dim, dread sea, 
Hurrying on with the tide which bears 
The sum of our hopes and joys and cares 
Into the land of the long ago, 
Or out with the hours we ne'er did know, 
Into life's broader realms — 
Come, with a force that overwhelms, 
Thoughts to me there, as I stand beside — 
What will there be at the end of the tide? 
Out of the mists that hide the flame 
Of the dawn with its dream of a certain fame. 
When, with their tips of phantasmic fire, 
Rise the red pinions higher, higher, 
Whirling aloft in their grand, mad flight, 
Till the stars hide away in the shroud of night 
And crushed are the mists of the moldy past — 
What will there be, when the fogs at last 
Are lifted away from the years they dull — 
What will there be when the day's at full? 




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